An Enterprise Architecture Approach for Designing an Integrated Wood Supply Management System

An Enterprise Architecture Approach for Designing an Integrated Wood Supply Management System

A. F. Marques (Centre for Forest Studies, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal, & INESC TEC, Portugal), J. G. Borges (Centre for Forest Studies, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal), P. M. Sousa (IST, Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal), M. Fonseca (Link Consulting, Portugal), J. Gonçalves (Europac Group, Viana do Castelo, Portugal) and J. Oliveira (Floresta Atlântica – SGFII, S.A., Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1764-3.ch001
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The wood supply chains encompass a multitude of agents with independent business processes and information systems. The network of interrelationships and information flows among the agents is often neglected when designing information systems. Common processes and automatic data exchanges can enhance collaboration as well as improve IT alignment with business needs across multiple organizations in the supply chain. This article proposes an Enterprise Architecture methodological approach for designing an integrated modular Wood Supply Management System. Both Process Architecture Framework and Information Architecture were developed and used to define individual systems and integration requirements, discussed on the Applications Architecture. The Technological Architecture was further addressed. Results of its application to the Portuguese pulpwood, biomass and lumber-based supply chains are presented. Results show that this approach can effectively specify individual systems requirements driven from the processes descriptions built in collaboration with the agents. It further shows that a Service-Oriented Architecture can be derived, ensuring systems integration and interoperability.
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The wood supply chains are commonly presented as a pipeline of activities starting on the raw material acquisition and ending on its delivery on the transformation centers, where the finish goods are produced according to the final clients’ specifications. They involve several companies, various business units inside the companies, many locations and consequently a paraphernalia of distinct information systems for planning and controlling the activities and information flows. Proprietary, client-tailored systems prevail, often without interfaces to other company’s systems nor interoperability features with other agents systems. Redundancy and data inconsistency problems are frequent and some transversal processes, such as products traceability along the chain, are difficult or even impossible to implement.

This chapter advocates the advantages of developing integrated computer-based approaches to support the management of the wood supply chain activities as well as the interactions among its agents. It further proposes an Enterprise Architecture approach for designing the Integrated Wood Supply Management System (iWS) with the involvement of the end-users.

The chapter is organized as follows: The background section provides the description of the Wood Supply Chain using as an example the Portuguese context. The currently adopted information systems are reviewed. An overview of the Enterprise Architecture (EA) methodologies is also presented. The following sections detail the applied EA road-map and its main results, namely, the hierarchical top-down Process Architecture, encompassing the Process Architecture framework and its individual business processes. The information entities described under the Information Architecture. The description of the iWS main modular components, driven from the CRUD matrix analysis in the course of the Applications Architecture. Finally, existing technologies that can adequately support the iWS modules as well as the technological requirements and developing guidelines, included on the Technological Architecture. The last sections are devoted to the discussion of future and emerging trends and presenting the concluding remarks.

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